Calmer Udayan brushes aside poor Olympic start with 69

Shooting a 69 on Friday after a poor 76 on Day 1 has done Udayan Mane's (right) confidence a world of good.
Shooting a 69 on Friday after a poor 76 on Day 1 has done Udayan Mane's (right) confidence a world of good. Photo: IGF/PGA Tour

Placed three rungs from the bottom at T57, Udayan Mane has a lot of catching up to do at the Olympic men’s golf competition. But posting a sub-70 score on Day 2 has a done a world of good to the burly golfer who mainly plies his trade on the Professional Golf Tour of India.

A setting like the Olympics can unnerve even seasoned campaigners, Udayan is a debutant. It’s all about getting used to the conditions and shutting out the distractions. The 30-year-old did just that, and the 69 was a marked improvement from Thursday’s 76.

“I wasn’t distracted by the people around me and was able to focus on my golf, happy to post a score in the 60s,” said Udayan. With two days to go, there is still a lot of golf to play and Udayan will be taking heart from Friday’s round.

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“A lot of the guys in the (world) top-50 shot 2-3 over and here I am the worst ranked guy this week, so there is not a huge difference.” The focus for the weekend will be on getting off to a hot start on the first six holes, unlike Friday when after seven holes he was two-over before making the journey back to sanity.

The comfort level was apparent as despite the poor start Udayan recovered and he attributed it to getting used to a setting as big as this. “I always look forward to playing big events and opportunities such as this because it means that I am getting to grow.” The road map is clear as Udayan looks to make his presence felt. “If I can be 2-3-under after 6 holes, I should be good.”

Udayan’s playing partner and senior pro Anirban Lahiri was level par for the day when bad weather stopped play. With two holes left, Anirban was T20, a slip of 12 spots after the opening day’s 67.

More Read: Anirban signals intent with strong opening